Introduction to Apache Ant

The Apache Ant package is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is kind of like make, but without make's wrinkles. Ant is different. Instead of a model that is extended with shell-based commands, Ant is extended using Java classes. Instead of writing shell commands, the configuration files are XML-based, calling out a target tree that executes various tasks. Each task is run by an object that implements a particular task interface.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.4 platform.

Package Information

Apache Ant Dependencies


A JDK (Java Binary or OpenJDK-


User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/apache-ant

Installation of Apache Ant



You may need additional libraries to satisfy the build requirements of various packages installed using Apache Ant. Review the table at http://ant.apache.org/manual/install.html#librarydependencies for any prerequisite libraries you may need. Place any needed libraries in lib/optional.

If it is not possible to install the recommended JUnit package, install Apache Ant by removing the reference to the test instructions (note that the tests will not be performed):

sed -i 's/jars,test-jar/jars/' build.xml

otherwise copy the junit jar file to the local directory tree.

cp -v /usr/share/java/junit-4.11.jar lib/optional

Install Apache Ant by running the following commands:

The unit regression tests are performed during the build step below unless JUnit is not installed. Now, as the root user:

./build.sh -Ddist.dir=/opt/ant-1.9.2 dist &&
ln -v -sfn ant-1.9.2 /opt/ant


Make sure the JAVA_HOME environment variable is set for the root user.

Command Explanations

sed -i 's/jars...: If the JUnit package is not installed, the regression tests cannot be performed.

cp -v /usr/share/java/junit-4.11.jar ...: This command copies the JUnit jar file into the directory where Apache Ant will look for it.

./build.sh -Ddist.dir=/opt/ant-1.9.2 dist: This command does everything. It builds, tests, then installs the package into /opt/ant-1.9.2.

ln -v -sfn ant-1.9.2 /opt/ant: This command is optional, and creates a convenience symlink.

Configuring Apache Ant

Config Files

/etc/ant/ant.conf, ~/.ant/ant.conf, and ~/.antrc

Configuration Information

Some packages will require ant to be in the search path and the $ANT_HOME environment variable defined. Satisfy these requirements by adding the following lines to /etc/profile or to individual user's ~/.profile or ~/.bashrc files:

export PATH=$PATH:/opt/ant/bin
export ANT_HOME=/opt/ant


Installed Programs: ant, antRun, antRun.pl, complete-ant-cmd.pl, runant.pl, and runant.py
Installed Libraries: ant*.jar
Installed Directories: /opt/ant-1.9.2

Short Descriptions


is a Java based build tool used by many packages instead of the conventional make program.


is a support script used to start ant build scripts in a given directory.


is a Perl script that provides similar functionality offered by the antRun script.


is a Perl script that allows Bash to complete an ant command-line.


is a Perl wrapper script used to invoke ant.


is a Python wrapper script used to invoke ant.


files are the Apache Ant Java class libraries.

Last updated on 2013-08-30 03:16:31 -0700